The heat of humidity of Iowa's summers can quickly change soil conditions from moist or even wet, to dry, and that's exactly what's been happened in the last several weeks. A large part of Iowa is now abnormally dry, with some areas already experiencing severe drought.

According to Drought Monitor, parts of nine counties in the western half of Iowa are now experiencing severe drought. The nine counties are Adair, Audubon, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Greene, Guthrie, Dallas, and Polk. They're in orange in the graphic below. In total, that covers 5.8 percent of the state. Drought.gov says in a severe drought crop or pasture loss is likely, water shortages are common, and water restrictions are imposed.

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A larger portion of the state is now in a moderate drought, where there's typically some damage to crops and pastures, some water shortages could develop, and voluntary water-use restrictions are requested. It's signified in tan below and encompasses 15.6 percent of the state. Twenty-four percent of the state's citizens are now living in areas that are considered to be in a drought.

Finally, nearly the entire western half of Iowa is now abnormally dry. It extends from just west of Mason City, south to Des Moines, and on to the Iowa/Nebraska or Iowa/South Dakota border. Only extreme northern Iowa and extreme southern Iowa in the western half of the state have avoided being at least abnormally dry.

All of this represents a big change from last week when it was only abnormally dry in parts of western Iowa, with none experiencing drought at that time.

According to the National Weather Service in Des Moines, there's at least a chance of rain in the western portion of Iowa this weekend. Here's hoping those who need the rain the most get some.

Drought Monitor